Sam grew up in Dallas, Texas. He studied classical piano with Janet Jones and competed regularly on the local and statewide level. While attending Booker T. Washington High School for the Arts, he discovered jazz and began taking lessons with local piano legend Bill Lohr. In 2004, he moved to New York, where he currently resides, and has since been busy performing in bands led by artists such as Ambrose Akinmusire, Ben Van Gelder, Logan Richardson, Roman Filiu, Gretchen Parlato, and Rudy Royston. He has appeared at venues and festivals in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. In January 2014 he released his debut album, Interludes, on Fresh Sound New Talent.